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U.S. getting ready to close down RT broadcasting in the nation


Douglas Caddy
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From his column: War, War, War, that is all Washington wants. It enriches the military/security complex, the largest component of the US GNP and the largest contributor, along with Wall Street and the Israel Lobby, to US political campaigns.

Anyone or any organization that offers truth to the lies is demonized. Last week the new chief of the US Broadcasting Board of Governors, Andrew Lack, listed the Russian TV Internet service Russia Today as the equivalent of Boko Haram and the Islamic State terrorist groups. This absurd accusation is a prelude to closing down RT in the US just as Washington’s puppet UK government closed down Iran’s Press TV. http://rt.com/usa/225819-rt-isis-point-view-competition/

In other words, Anglo-Americans are not permitted any different news than what is served to them by “their” governments.

That is the state of “freedom” in the West today.

http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2015/01/25/freedom-america-europe-pcr/

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NYT Is Lost in Its Ukraine Propaganda

==================================

In late February, a conference is scheduled in New York City to discuss the risk of nuclear war if computers reach the level of artificial intelligence and take decisions out of human hands. But there is already the old-fashioned danger of nuclear war, started by human miscalculation, fed by hubris and propaganda.

That possible scenario is playing out in Ukraine, where the European Union and the United States provoked a political crisis on Russia’s border in November 2013, then backed a coup d’etat in February 2014 and have presented a one-sided account of the ensuing civil war, blaming everything on Russia.

Possibly the worst purveyor of this Cold War-style propaganda has been the New York Times, which has given its readers a steady diet of biased reporting and analysis, including now accusing the Russians for a resurgence in the fighting.

One way the Times has falsified the Ukraine narrative is by dating the origins of the crisis to several months after the crisis actually began. So, the lead story in Saturday’s editions ignored the actual chronology of events and started the clock with the appearance of Russian troops in Crimea in spring 2014.

The Times article by Rick Lyman and Andrew E. Kramer said: “A shaky cease-fire has all but vanished, with rebel leaders vowing fresh attacks. Civilians are being hit by deadly mortars at bus stops. Tanks are rumbling down snowy roads in rebel-held areas with soldiers in unmarked green uniforms sitting on their turrets, waving at bystanders — a disquieting echo of the ‘little green men’ whose appearance in Crimea opened this stubborn conflict in the spring.”

In other words, the story doesn’t start in fall 2013 with the extraordinary U.S. intervention in Ukrainian political affairs – spearheaded by American neocons, such as National Endowment for Democracy president Carl Gershman, Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland and Sen. John McCain – nor with the U.S.-backed coup on Feb. 22, 2014, which ousted elected President Viktor Yanukovych and put one of Nuland’s chosen leaders, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, in as Prime Minister.

No, because if that history were included, Times readers might actually have a chance for a balanced understanding of this unnecessary tragedy. For propaganda purposes, it is better to start the cameras rolling only after the people of Crimea voted overwhelmingly to secede from the failed state of Ukraine and rejoin Russia.

Except the Times won’t reference the lopsided referendum or the popular will of the Crimean people. It’s better to pretend that Russian troops – the “little green men” – just invaded Crimea and conquered the place against the people’s will. The Russian troops were already in Crimea as part of an agreement with Ukraine for maintaining the Russian naval base at Sevastopol.

Which leads you to the next paragraph of the Times story: “The renewed fighting has dashed any hopes of reinvigorating a cease-fire signed in September [2014] and honored more in name than in fact since then. It has also put to rest the notion that Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, would be so staggered by the twin blows of Western sanctions and a collapse in oil prices that he would forsake the separatists in order to foster better relations with the West.”

That last point gets us to the danger of human miscalculation driven by hubris. The key error committed by the EU and compounded by the U.S. was to assume that a brazen bid to get Ukraine to repudiate its longtime relationship with Russia and to bring Ukraine into the NATO alliance would not prompt a determined Russian reaction.

Russia sees the prospect of NATO military forces and their nuclear weapons on its borders as a grave strategic threat, especially with Kiev in the hands of rabid right-wing politicians, including neo-Nazis, who regard Russia as a historic enemy. Confronted with such a danger – especially with thousands of ethnic Russians inside Ukraine being slaughtered – it was a near certainty that Russia’s leaders would not succumb meekly to Western sanctions and demands.

Yet, as long as the United States remains in thrall to the propagandistic narrative that the New York Times and other U.S. mainstream media outlets have spun, President Barack Obama will almost surely continue to ratchet up the tensions. To do otherwise would open Obama to accusations of “weakness.”

During his State of the Union address, Obama mostly presented himself as a peacemaker, but his one major deviation was when he crowed about the suffering that U.S.-organized sanctions had inflicted on Russia, whose economy, he boasted, was “in tatters.”

So, with the West swaggering and Russia facing what it considers a grave strategic threat, it’s not hard to imagine how the crisis in Ukraine could escalate into a violent clash between NATO and Russian forces with the possibility of further miscalculation bringing nuclear weapons into play.

The Actual Narrative

There’s no sign that the New York Times has any regrets about becoming a crude propaganda organ, but just in case someone is listening inside “the newspaper of record,” let’s reprise the actual narrative of the Ukraine crisis. It began not last spring, as the Times would have you believe, but rather in fall 2013 when President Yanukovych was evaluating the cost of an EU association agreement if it required an economic break with Russia.

This part of the narrative was well explained by Der Spiegel, the German newsmagazine, even though it has generally taken a harshly anti-Russian line. But, in a retrospective piece published a year after the crisis began, Der Spiegel acknowledged that EU and German leaders were guilty of miscalculations that contributed to the civil war in Ukraine, particularly by under-appreciating the enormous financial costs to Ukraine if it broke its historic ties to Russia.

In November 2013, Yanukovych learned from experts at the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine that the total cost to the country’s economy from severing its business connections to Russia would be around $160 billion, 50 times the $3 billion figure that the EU had estimated, Der Spiegel reported.

The figure stunned Yanukovych, who pleaded for financial help that the EU couldn’t provide, the magazine said. Western loans would have to come from the International Monetary Fund, which was demanding painful “reforms” of Ukraine’s economy, structural changes that would make the hard lives of average Ukrainians even harder, including raising the price of natural gas by 40 percent and devaluing Ukraine’s currency, the hryvnia, by 25 percent.

With Putin offering a more generous aid package of $15 billion, Yanukovych backed out of the EU agreement but told the EU’s Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, on Nov. 28, 2013, that he was willing to continue negotiating. German Chancellor Angela Merkel responded with “a sentence dripping with disapproval and cool sarcasm aimed directly at the Ukrainian president. ‘I feel like I’m at a wedding where the groom has suddenly issued new, last minute stipulations,” according to Der Spiegel’s chronology of the crisis.

After the collapse of the EU deal, U.S. neocons went to work on one more “regime change” – this time in Ukraine – using the popular disappointment in western Ukraine over the failed EU agreement as a way to topple Yanukovych, the constitutionally elected president whose political base was in eastern Ukraine.

Assistant Secretary of State Nuland, a prominent neocon holdover who advised Vice President Dick Cheney, passed out cookies to anti-Yanukovych demonstrators at the Maidan Square in Kiev and reminded Ukrainian business leaders that the United States had invested $5 billion in their “European aspirations.”

Sen. McCain, who seems to want war pretty much everywhere, joined Ukrainian rightists onstage at the Maidan urging on the protests, and Gershman’s U.S.-funded National Endowment for Democracy deployed its Ukrainian political/media operatives in support of the disruptions. As early as September 2013, the NED president had identified Ukraine as “the biggest prize” and an important step toward toppling Putin in Russia. [see Consortiumnews.com’s “Neocons’ Ukraine-Syria-Iran Gambit.”]

By early February 2014, Nuland was telling U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt “xxxx the EU” and discussing how to “glue this thing” as she handpicked who the new leaders of Ukraine would be; “Yats is the guy,” she said about Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

As violent disorders at the Maidan grew worse – with well-organized neo-Nazi militias hurling firebombs at police – the State Department and U.S. news media blamed Yanukovych. On Feb. 20, when mysterious snipers – apparently firing from positions controlled by the neo-Nazi Right Sektor – shot to death police officers and protesters, the situation spun out of control – and the American press again blamed Yanukovych.

Though Yanukovych signed a Feb. 21 agreement with three European countries accepting reduced powers and early elections, that was not enough for the coup-makers. On Feb. 22, a putsch, spearheaded by neo-Nazi militias, forced Yanukovych and his officials to flee for their lives.

Remarkably, however, when the Times pretended to review this history in a January 2015 article, the Times ignored the extraordinary evidence of a U.S.-backed coup – including the scores of NED political projects, McCain’s cheerleading and Nuland’s plotting. The Times simply informed its readers that there was no coup. [see Consortiumnews.com’s “NYT Still Pretends No Coup in Ukraine.”]

But the Times’ propaganda on Ukraine is not just wretched journalism, it is also a dangerous ingredient in what could become a nuclear confrontation, if Americans come to believe a false narrative and thus go along with more provocative actions by their political leaders who, in turn, might feel compelled to act tough because otherwise they’d be attacked as “soft.”

In other words, even without computers seizing control of man’s nuclear weapons, man himself might blunder into a nuclear Armageddon, driven not by artificial intelligence but a lack of the human kind.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com). You also can order Robert Parry’s trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America’s Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.

===================================================

Source: Robert Parry, Consortium News, 24 January 2015

Edited by Steven Gaal
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  • 1 month later...

9/11 Cover-Up? Three US-Journalists Dead Within 24 Hours (LINK)

Ned Colt of (NBC) died of a stroke.

Bob Simon of (CBS) died in a car crash.

David Carr (NY Times), 58, a columnist for the New York Times, fell out dead in his office Thursday just after interviewing NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden about the release of secret documents in a “Times Talks” episode which was captured on video via Google Hangouts.

He also had just come out against Brian Williams from NBC while on CBS… calling Williams out for lying about being shot down in the Iraq war.

The three deaths cause a certain controversy, given reports and investigations of the russian TV-channel RT that mentions that all three journalists were planning a joint documentary about the 9/11 attacks and possible involvement of the US government. According to unconfirmed reports, they also made requests for access to russian archives in the course of research for the 9/11 documentary.

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well, to be factual, many Russian officials and RT ex-staff have publicly gone on record that RT is little more than Putin's Propaganda arm. Here in the UK, OffCom (QANGO regulating media services) have either threatened or levied, [can't remember which, and CBA looking it up, really] sanctions against RT for breaching impartiality laws.

I guess the 'MURKA!!ns don't like the competition against FauxNoise :P

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many Russian officials and RT ex-staff have publicly gone on record that RT is little more than Putin's Propaganda arm.// KNIGHT

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State Department to Russians & ex RT STAFF ...... the check is in the mail.........well, to be factual see below

Wednesday, Apr 18, 2012 05:46 AM PDT

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Attacks on RT and Assange reveal much about the critics Those who pretend to engage in adversarial journalism will invariably hate those who actually do it VIDEO

Glenn Greenwald

http://www.salon.com/2012/04/18/attacks_on_rt_and_assange_reveal_much_about_the_critics/

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and the real question is !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Who's the Propagandist: US or RT? | Consortiumnews

https://consortiumnews.com/.../w...
Consortium for Independent Journalism
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May 1, 2014 - The U.S. State Department, which has been caught promoting a series of ... made some broad-brush criticisms of RT's content – accusing the ...

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"I am a Ukrainian" Propaganda Video Exposed As Kony-Style Scam ...

www.globalresearch.cawww.globalresearch.ca/i-am-a-ukrainian-propaganda-video.../5370067"\

" I am a Ukrainian" Propaganda Video Exposed As Kony-Style Scam ...Feb 22, 2014 ... Regime change propaganda goes viral ... the Ukrainian revolt is grass roots, but its origins can be traced back to the U.S. State Department. - See more at: http://www.globalresearch.org/search?q=RT+NEWS#sthash.spyCgls2.dpuf

Edited by Steven Gaal
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  • 4 weeks later...

NATO Launches “Operation Destroy RT”

http://govtslaves.info/nato-launches-operation-destroy-rt/

===

(Samuel Oakford) One year after the Russian annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, the European Union and NATO want to step up an information campaign to counter what they’ve called “false narratives” disseminated by the Kremlin.

On Sunday, Gen. Philip Breedlove, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe, said there was a “need as a Western group of nations or as an alliance to engage in this informational warfare.”

“The way to attack the false narrative is to drag the false narrative into the light and expose it,” Breedlove, an American, told a forum in Brussels.

Like the US, most European countries already have state-funded media arms. But the West sees Russia’s recent forays into foreign broadcasting as a cynical ploy to spread disinformation, particularly about its alleged involvement in eastern Ukraine. Breedlove contended that Russian government reporting is particularly worrisome because the Kremlin’s involvement can be “hidden.”

Breedlove asked, “How do we recognize, how do we characterize and then how do we attribute this new employment of the military in a way that is built to bring about ambiguity?”

Last summer, the US began a social media campaign to publicize its version of the events in Ukraine, but Russia was quick to co-opt the American hashtag #UnitedForUkraine to disseminate its own messages. The United Kingdom, meanwhile, has reportedly created a special unit to serve as “Facebook warriors” in the online battle against its former Cold War nemesis.

Still, Western diplomats feel their efforts are falling short. Last week, the EU’s European Council said that its top foreign policy official, Frederica Mogherini, would spearhead an effort to “challenge Russia’s ongoing disinformation campaigns.” The Council requested that Mogherini assemble by June a plan to enhance Europe’s “strategic communication.”

An EU official who spoke to VICE News on the condition of anonymity said the plans were still in their nascent stage.

“There have been concerns in Europe for at least half a year to a year that there is not enough independent media coming out, and about propaganda from the Russian side,” the official said.

“The EU is not going to start doing its own propaganda,” the official stressed. With 28 member states, the bloc has found itself playing catch-up, and merely coming up with uniform messaging is still a problem, the official said. “This is about how all EU member states and the different leaders can better communicate.”

Though Soviet-era state-owned news agencies like TASS and RIA Novosti continue to operate, it is Russia Today (RT), the Kremlin’s international television network, that has most intensely covered Ukraine — along with other global news stories — outside of Russia.

Founded in 2005, RT is now is broadcast on cable and satellite channels on six continents. RT’s web content, which accrues millions of clicks and views on sites such as YouTube, have furthered the Kremlin’s reach beyond the wildest dreams of Soviet propagandists.

Much of RT’s coverage is local, focusing on the indiscretions of US officials, police brutality in American cities, and other topics along those lines. But the network has devoted prominent coverage to Ukraine in almost every region.

A poll that appeared Monday on RT’s English language site asked readers what would happen if Western countries sent arms and troops to aid the Ukrainian government. The possible responses were “Help Kiev spill more blood,” “Deter the rebels and end the fighting,” “Provoke Russia into escalating the conflict,” and deeming the move “irrelevant, since Ukraine is broken.”

Robert Orttung, assistant director of the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies at George Washington University, told VICE News that Russia’s propaganda has, in some targeted settings, proven successful — though what exactly the Kremlin is trying to accomplish is still up for debate.

“Russian propaganda is effective because there’s some interesting combination of entertainment and regular news with the Kremlin’s message inserted,” Orttung said. “It’s wrapped up in this infotainment mix, and it’s very hard for governments to counter it.”

Between January 19 and February 19, according to numbers pulled by Orttung and his colleagues, viewers watched videos from RT’s main English language YouTube channel more than 10 million times. RT’s Spanish service, which has some 350,000 subscribers, enjoyed nearly 5 million views in the same period; their Arabic service drew an audience of 5.46 million. Dwarfing them all was the 20 million views of its Russian-language account, which features the videos that Russian-speaking residents of eastern Ukraine would be most likely to watch.

RT America only had around 1 million views during Orttung’s research period, and he said Russian officials understand they aren’t going to change the minds of many American viewers about events in Ukraine. But Kremlin-friendly coverage could, for instance, rile up residents in Russian enclaves in Eastern Europe and the Baltic states. To that end, EU officials are considering their own Russian-language programs.

Elsewhere in the EU, RT has merely focused on existing societal and political schisms, devoting coverage to anti-EU parties such as Greece’s Syriza and Spain’s Podemos. For a Russian leadership fearful of NATO’s encroachment in its backyard, whatever presence it can muster in those countries is an achievement in its own right, Orttung said. In Spain, for instance, about a third of all video views were of what Orttung and his colleagues deemed human-interest stories.

Arabic coverage likewise tends to feature stories in the Middle East and North Africa, though it can seem to take stances deemed controversial by Western leaders, such as pushing the official line of Russian ally Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

In an age where internet users expect news immediately, Orttung said RT has in some ways proved more adept at incorporating new technologies than its Western competitors.

“You don’t need a huge amount of resources to have videos that go viral, and in fact it’s often the low production values that are most interesting and viral,” said Orttung. “If you look at these techniques, there’s a certain allure to the way they present themselves.”

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rense.com

=

Washington Wants To Rev Up Its Big Lying Machine

By Stephen Lendman
3-28-15

Its annual three-fourths of a billion dollars spent isn't enough. It's for managed news disinformation rubbish aired by:

• Voice of America;

• Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty,

• Radio Free Asia;

• Radio and TV Marti aimed at Cuba; and

• Middle East Broadcasting Networks.

Plus enormous sums spent by supportive corporate media, as well as so-called public (be damned) broadcasting and radio blasting out Big Lies, fake news, and other grand deceptions instead of what everyone deserves.

Reuters previewed a new report claiming America is losing the information war to Russia - written by two former US propagandists, S. Enders Wimbush and Elizabeth Portale.

They along with 30 foreign policy/diplomacy professionals polled want America's Big Lying Machine revved up.

They want it top-to-bottom overhauled. "US international communications strategy should be rebuilt from the ground up," their report says.

"(A)nti-US messaging forment(s) an information war (it's) winning."

It claims "US international broadcasting is challenged to keep pace with competitors and changes in the media landscape."

Experts paid to lie claim Russia out-guns America - by spreading hard truths on issues mattering most.

RT television reaches US viewers. It spends less than a third annually what Washington's Big Lying Machine budgets.

Its audience grows because Americans and others are hungry for real news, information and analysis.

They're sick and tired of misinformation rubbish proliferated instead. They're tuning out.

They're choosing reliable alternative sources everyone should follow exclusively - many available online in print or in audio and video form.

Growing numbers of people want hard truths not available through traditional sources. For sure not from America's Big Lying Machine.

Report co-author Wimbush called Ukrainian crisis conditions "the most serious challenge US international broadcasting has faced since the fall of the Soviet Union."

Hard truths are increasingly giving US proliferated Big Lies a run for their money.

House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Ed Royce (R. CA) complained about Russian English language media beating America's.

US "international broadcasting is floundering. It's unacceptable," he said.

He sponsored legislation aimed at restructuring the US Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG).

Former CEO Andrew Lack quit after six weeks on the job. From 1993 - 2001, he was NBC president. He's returning to head its news operation.

Deputy BBG International Broadcasting Bureau director, Jeff Trimble, said 25 new (propaganda) programs were created or expanded in the past year - mostly Russian language ones.

He wants more money for proliferating more Big Lies. Last month, John Kerry lied to Congress on what RT television spends.

He claimed "more than $500 million annually to mislead audiences, sow divisions, and push conspirac(ies)."

RT's current annual budget is $225 million. It's spent reporting hard truths - ones driving Kerry and other US war criminals nuts.

He wants Congress appropriating $639 million for US state-sponsored propaganda.

"(T)o help our friends in Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova as they seek to strengthen their democracies, withstand pressure from Russia, and to integrate more closely into Europe," he claimed.

The State Department wants over $2 billion for so-called "democracy, human rights, and governance programs" - propaganda rubbish by any other name.

Wimbush and Portale ludicrously claim private media aren't always in lockstep with US foreign policy objectives.

They regurgitate them ad nauseam. They blast out the same Big Lies daily.

BBG wants more money for what it ludicrously calls "credible journalism and information at scale in order to provide Russian language speakers with a fair and balanced picture of the world."

They want to out-shout truth-tellers with Big Lies Russian news consumers reject.

They're not stupid. They're not over-entertained and under-or-misinformed like Americans.

They don't buy Big Lies increasing numbers of US news consumers now reject.

America's Big Lying Machine has to work harder to blast out greater amounts of rubbish increasingly not working.

People want real information - hard truths America's Big Lying Machine buries.

Experts Wimbush/Potale polled expect "no reform…likely to go far enough" to fix what increasing numbers of news consumers reject.

They want real information and analysis on issues mattering most.

They want what America's public and private Big Lying Machine systematically bury.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

Edited by Steven Gaal
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9/11 Cover-Up? Three US-Journalists Dead Within 24 Hours (LINK)

Ned Colt of (NBC) died of a stroke.

Bob Simon of (CBS) died in a car crash.

David Carr (NY Times), 58, a columnist for the New York Times, fell out dead in his office Thursday just after interviewing NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden about the release of secret documents in a “Times Talks” episode which was captured on video via Google Hangouts.

"Colt left NBC in 2009 to work in the aid sector with the International Rescue Committee and the United Nations office dedicated to refugees. "

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/ned-colt-nbc-news-journalist-dies-boston-58-n305006

And one would think the FoD/MiBH would have killed Carr BEFORE interviewing Snowden

He also had just come out against Brian Williams from NBC while on CBS… calling Williams out for lying about being shot down in the Iraq war.

So did FauxNews

The three deaths cause a certain controversy, given reports and investigations of the russian TV-channel RT that mentions that all three journalists were planning a joint documentary about the 9/11 attacks and possible involvement of the US government. According to unconfirmed reports, they also made requests for access to russian archives in the course of research for the 9/11 documentary.

I'm calling BS on this

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Odigo says workers were warned of attack

Odigo, the instant messaging service, says that two of its workers received messages two hours before the Twin Towers attack on September 11 predicting the attack would happen, and the company has been cooperating with Israeli and American law enforcement, including the FBI, in trying to find the original sender of the message predicting the attack.

Sep. 26, 2001 | 12:00 AM |


Odigo, the instant messaging service, says that two of its workers received messages two hours before the Twin Towers attack on September 11 predicting the attack would happen, and the company has been cooperating with Israeli and American law enforcement, including the FBI, in trying to find the original sender of the message predicting the attack.

Micha Macover, CEO of the company, said the two workers received the messages and immediately after the terror attack informed the company's management, which immediately contacted the Israeli security services, which brought in the FBI.

"I have no idea why the message was sent to these two workers, who don't know the sender. It may just have been someone who was joking and turned out they accidentally got it right. And I don't know if our information was useful in any of the arrests the FBI has made," said Macover. Odigo is a U.S.-based company whose headquarters are in New York, with offices in Herzliya.

As an instant messaging service, Odigo users are not limited to sending messages only to people on their "buddy" list, as is the case with ICQ, the other well-known Israeli instant messaging application.

Odigo usually zealously protects the privacy of its registered users, said Macover, but in this case the company took the initiative to provide the law enforcement services with the originating Internet Presence address of the message, so the FBI could track down the Internet Service Provider, and the actual sender of the original message.

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oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Another Israeli company, Comverse Infosys, was responsible for providing wiretapping for U.S. law enforcement. But, again, there was a fear among U.S. agencies that the wiretaps themselves could be intercepted by unauthorized parties through a back door in the Comverse system. Adding to these fears was the fact that Comverse was reimbursed for up to half of its research and development costs by the Israeli Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Comverse was partnered with an Israeli messaging service company called Odigo. The Israeli paper Haaretz reported that workers at Odigo, which had offices near the World Trade Center, had received warnings on the morning of September 11 of an impending attack. The Washington Post confirmed that two employees of Odigo had "received text messages warning of an attack on the World Trade Center two hours before terrorists crashed planes into the New York landmarks."

===================

Edited by Steven Gaal
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The Washington Post confirmed that two employees of Odigo had "received text messages warning of an attack on the World Trade Center two hours before terrorists crashed planes into the New York landmarks.

==========

Golly WAHPO of NO 911 conspiracy and LHO acted alone says what ??

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And still waiting for any evidence the three journalists who died were working together on some 9/11 story.// COLBY

======================================

GOLLY IT CONTAINS A QUESTION MARK........COMPREHEND ??

9/11 Cover-Up? Three US-Journalists Dead Within 24 Hours (LINK)

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UK's War on RT Is an Attack on Free Speech

OfCom's campaign against RT is not a "counter propaganda" campaign. It is a campaign to suppress the expression of inconvenient opinions

opinion Tue, Mar 10 | 1,795 20
Ofcom-hq-400px.jpg?itok=uVYw0SxK
Ministry of Truth

Confirmation that the British broadcasting regulator Ofcom is investigating another complaint against RT is a disturbing development.

Before saying anything further I must declare an interest.

I am regular guest on RT. I am also a regular guest on Crosstalk, the programme that according to media reports is at the centre of the Ofcom investigation. I have the highest personal regard for Peter Lavelle, who is the programme’s host.

Before discussing this investigation and the issues to which it gives rise, I also however wish to make clear that I have not seen the complaint that is the cause of the investigation or any other document related either to the complaint or to the investigation. Nor have I discussed either the complaint or the investigation with anyone at RT. Nor were RT or anyone working for RT informed of this article or provided with a copy of it before publication. All the opinions expressed in this article are my own and none have been discussed with RT or indeed with anyone else before publication.

So far as I can tell from media reports, the investigation follows a complaint of lack of impartiality on the part of RT and specifically by Crosstalk in discussing the Ukrainian crisis.

If so then the relevant provision is Section 5 of Ofcom’s Broadcasting Code. This says, in part:

Principles

To ensure that news, in whatever form, is reported with due accuracy and presented with due impartiality. To ensure that the special impartiality requirements of the Act are complied with.

.........

Meaning of "due impartiality”:

"Due" is an important qualification to the concept of impartiality. Impartiality itself means not favouring one side over another. "Due" means adequate or appropriate to the subject and nature of the programme. So "due impartiality" does not mean an equal division of time has to be given to every view, or that every argument and every facet of every argument has to be represented. The approach to due impartiality may vary according to the nature of the subject, the type of programme and channel, the likely expectation of the audience as to content, and the extent to which the content and approach is signalled to the audience. Context, as defined in Section Two: Harm and Offence of the Code, is important.”

I am not an expert on media law, but this provision seems to me clearly intended to ensure that news content is presented accurately and objectively by a broadcaster. It does not appear to me to prevent the expression of individual opinions. That also seems to me clear from reading the rest of Section 5 of the Code.

Crosstalk is a discussion and opinion programme that discusses news, whereas Section 5 seems mostly applicable to news programmes that report news. Section 5 does not appear to me to limit discussion or analysis of news (the purpose of Crosstalk) provided the news, which is being analysed and discussed, is reported objectively and accurately. That this is so appears to be borne out by the Guidance Notes to the Code, which say:

"In accordance with a broadcaster’s right to freedom of expression, the broadcaster has the right to interpret news events as it sees fit, as long as it complies with the Code".

To my knowledge the makers of the programme, and Peter Lavelle in particular, always strive for the greatest possible accuracy when reporting facts or news. As Peter Lavelle has several times said on Crosstalk programmes I have attended, guests have a right to their opinions but not a right to the facts.

Given so, it seems to me that not only does the complaint upon which the investigation is based have little merit, but it appears if anything to be an attempt to prevent the free expression of opinions, which is contrary to Article 10(1) of the European Convention of Human Rights:

“Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.”

Moreover the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Handyside v United Kingdom (5493/72) said "Freedom of expression...is applicable not only to 'information' or 'ideas' that are favourably received or regarded as inoffensive or as a matter of indifference, but also to those that offend, shock or disturb the State or any sector of the population" (Para. 49 of the judgment).

As I have said already, I do not hold myself out as any sort of authority on the Broadcasting Code or on media law in general. However knowing what I do about the Crosstalk programme and in light of what seems to me to be the applicable law, I can see no logic to this Ofcom investigation.

The fact however remains that an investigation is taking place. If, as it seems to me, there is no logic behind it, why is it taking place?

The short answer is that there is a sustained attempt underway to elevate a particular set of opinions about the Ukrainian crisis to the realm of fact so as to delegitimise or even prohibit expression of any conflicting set of opinions that may contradict those opinions that are being invested with the status of fact. That set of opinions is the one held about the Ukrainian crisis by the present government of Ukraine and its supporters in Britain and the West, these of course being all the major Western governments and media institutions.

To see how this is so, it is merely necessary to try to imagine a similar Ofcom investigation of a broadcaster that offers a one-sidedly pro-Ukrainian view of the crisis.

The Western media over the course of the crisis has reported as “facts” that Yanukovych was overthrown as a result of a popular revolution, that President Poroshenko’s election in May 2014 was legitimate, that the role of neo-Nazi and far right groups in Ukraine is marginal, that the Ukrainian military was winning the war in the Donbass in July and early August 2014, that the Russian military is present in large numbers in eastern Ukraine and that it is the Russians and the east Ukrainian militias that caused the peace process launched in Minsk in September 2014 to fail.

Each one of these “facts” is open to challenge. On examination they turn out to be not “facts” at all but merely opinions that can be contested in every case: Thus opinion polls show an even split of Ukrainians supporting and opposing the Maidan movement that overthrew Yanukovych; Poroshenko’s election was arguably illegitimate since it took place following an unconstitutional coup that was rejected by people in Ukraine’s eastern regions; the neo-Nazi and far right groups appear to have a disproportionate influence in Ukrainian politics and in the Ukrainian military where they have formed themselves into volunteer battalions outside the chain of command; the Ukrainian military was in reality never close to victory at any stage in the war in the summer of 2014; the German government now disputes US and NATO claims concerning the presence of large numbers of Russian troops in eastern Ukraine; and the true reason for the failure of the Minsk peace process launched in September 2014 is not Russian or east Ukrainian failure to honour their commitments but Ukraine’s intransigent refusal to undertake the constitutional negotiations it committed itself to by the Minsk process.

No Western or British broadcaster would however face investigation by Ofcom for reporting the “facts” (or rather opinions) that I set out above, and none in fact has ever had to, even though these “facts” give a strongly pro-Ukrainian take on the conflict and even though they represent the mainstream of reporting of the conflict by the Western and British media.

Similarly no Western or British broadcaster has faced investigation by Ofcom for saying that MH17 was shot down by the Russians or by the east Ukrainian militia, even though that “fact” too is not a fact at all (since it is has not been proved) but is as of the time of writing merely an expression of opinion.

That the issue is one of expression of inconvenient opinions rather than of misreporting or inaccurately reporting news or “facts” is shown by the way the British media has recently taken to misrepresenting certain comments made by RT’s chief, Margarita Simonyan.

A recent editorial in the Guardian said this about her comments:

“It is a tactic straight out of Mr Putin’s KGB playbook from the 1970s. Generate a plurality of narratives, so the truth can be obscured. In such circumstances, the very idea that there is such a thing as “the truth” can itself be called into question. “There is no objectivity – only approximations of the truth by as many different voices as possible” is how Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of state-backed Russia Today, puts it. This is weaponised relativism.”

Contrast this with what Simonyan actually said in the interview with Der Spiegel, from which the above quote comes:

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Efforts are made to be objective. But your network only covers one side, offering Syrian dictator Bashar Assad a platform for his political message.

Simonyan: There are people who refer to Assad's political opponents as the "democratic opposition." Even the rebels, however, have raped women and murdered children. Take Saakashvili, for example. He is held up as a hero by the BBC. For others, he represents an oppressor of freedom. There is no objectivity -- only approximations of the truth by as many different voices as possible.”

Where Simonyan says that facts may validly be the subject of different opinions and of more than one interpretation, the Guardian insists only one opinion or interpretation - its own - which also happens to be the mainstream Western one - is valid, and anything else is “weaponised relativism”.

It is not difficult to see how behind this seeming concern for "objective truth" - and the corresponding rejection of alternative opinions and interpretations that contradict it - lies a thinly disguised form of authoritarianism. To see where that leads, it is only necessary to look at the final paragraph of the editorial:

“Amid the various narratives of “the truth” now being rehearsed by the Russian state, it is necessary to insist upon a reality; on Friday morning Mr Nemtsov was alive, but by the day’s end he was dead. Amid the mischievous misdirection of the Kremlin’s counter-measures, this is, quite simply, the truth.”

That Boris Nemtsov was killed on Friday 27th February 2015 is a truth denied by no one. The “reality” the Guardian insists on is not that one. Rather what the Guardian is actually doing (as the editorial read as a whole makes clear) is demanding that its opinion (which is also the mainstream Western opinion) that the Kremlin killed Nemtsov or caused him to be killed be accepted as “reality”. Any other opinion about the murder is rejected as “mischievous misdirection” by the Kremlin. This notwithstanding the fact that as of the time the editorial was written no facts had come to light to support the Guardian’s opinion that the Kremlin had caused or was responsible for Nemtsov’s death, and all the facts that have come to light since tend to refute it.

When mere opinion independent of proof or facts is elevated to the level of unchallengeable truth, free expression becomes impossible. When provisions intended to guard against factual misreporting and inaccuracy, such as Ofcom’s Broadcasting Code, are misused to suppress the expression of inconvenient opinions, it is valid to warn of censorship. That is the situation we appear to be in now.

Edited by Steven Gaal
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